15 Things Every New Puppy Parent Must Have

Smiling mother reading to three children and golden retriever puppy dog surrounded by laundry baskets

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If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re welcoming a new furry friend to your household.

Raising a puppy can be a very exciting experience but also time consuming and stressful. Sometimes new puppy parents find themselves unprepared for the flood of responsibilities and needs that come with adopting a young dog.

To take the stress off of your plate, I’ve compiled a list of items every puppy owner must have to help take care of their new dog.

1. Crate

A German Shepherd puppy in its crate

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The idea of a crate scares a lot of people, but don’t let its looks frighten you. The crate is used to help potty train your puppy, and with some training, it can become a personal space for your dog to feel comfortable and relax.

It’s also a great place to put your dog when you can’t watch them to keep them out of harm’s way. A great example of this is when you’re cooking dinner and you are unable to keep an eye on the pup. You can place your puppy in the crate with their favorite chew to keep them busy instead of roaming the house unsupervised.

Roaming the house alone could lead to potty accidents, inappropriate chewing, unwanted behaviors, or dangerous situations. A great crate will be safe, sturdy, and easily folded up and put away when company comes over, and it can travel with you when you need to bring your puppy along.

This Folding Metal Dog Crate available in any size for any dog is a good choice.

2. Bed

jack russell terrier lying in a dog bed

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During the house training process, you’ll want to purchase a dog bed that will fit into your puppy’s crate.

The puppy can lay on the bed while in the crate for naps and when sleeping during the night. The bed will make the crate a cozier place to help your dog feel more secure.

If you want your dog to be super comfortable, consider one of these Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Beds.

3. Food Bowl

English cocker spaniel puppy eating dog food from ceramic bowl

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Your puppy will have a hungry appetite while they’re growing, so it’s important your dog has a familiar food bowl used everyday for their meals.

Some plastic bowls are easily mistaken as toys, and puppies are prone to playfully knock them over or chew on them.

I suggest purchasing a dishwasher-safe ceramic bowl for your dog. I found my ceramic bowls in the kitchen aisle at my local department store for a lot cheaper than the pet store’s ceramic dog bowls.

4. High Quality Puppy Food

A low angle view of a cute adorable 7 week old Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy eating from a red dog dish that is sitting on a dark hardwood floor with a white baseboard and teal colored wall in the background

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It’s important to feed your puppy food labeled specifically for a puppy because it’s designed with the nutritional needs for a growing dog. Ask your veterinarian how long you should feed your new dog puppy food.

Typically your puppy should be fed puppy food until they are six months to a year old. Talk to your local pet store associate or vet staff for food recommendations.

It’s important to find a puppy food with the proper blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to support a healthy growing dog.

5. Water Bowl

Puppy eating from food bowl. Horizontally framed shot.

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I suggest purchasing a dish-washer safe ceramic bowl for your dog to drink water from.

Just like with the food dish, you don’t want puppy to confuse meal times with play times. Plastic bowls may seem like toys.

You should always make fresh water available for your dog and wash the water bowl frequently.

6. Leash

jack russell with leash in mouth

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The dog leash, or sometimes called a lead, connects you to your dog. It’s your dog’s safety line back to you that keeps them out of harm’s way.

Even if your family has a fenced-in yard, a leash is a must-have item for many reasons. A leash helps during potty training to guide your puppy away from distractions during potty breaks.

Your dog will need to be leash trained when they need to be taken to see a vet. It’s also important to have a leash for walks around the neighborhood.

You may have a yard, but walks keep your dog entertained and stimulated and are an important part of the human-puppy bonding and training experience.

7. Identification Tags

Golden Retriever (Canis lupus familiaris) puppy

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A personalized pet ID tag is a must-have item because, if your dog were to ever go missing, anyone who finds them could bring your dog back home thanks to the information engraved on the tag.

Think of your dog’s identification tags as their ticket home when they’re lost. Your dog can’t communicate where they live, who their owners are, or what their phone numbers are. Include your dog’s name and your phone number on the tag so someone who finds your dog knows how to contact you.

Other optional information to include on an identification tag would be owner’s address, additional phone numbers, and owner’s names or social media handles.

I recommend placing the identification tags on your dog’s collar that they wear every day.

8. Collar


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I recommend a leather dog collar with buckle for your dog to keep their identification tags on them at all times.

This goes with the ID tags above, so if your dog were to ever go missing, they’d have a way back home thanks to the information engraved on the tags.

The collar must be sturdy, and a metal buckle is hard to break. Too many dogs have been lost or injured with those nylon collars and plastic buckle clips. They just aren’t as reliable.

9. Harness

bulldog walking with harness

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During walks on a leash, it’s important to use a harness instead of a neck collar for most dogs. Neck collars can put a lot of painful strain on the neck’s muscles and trachea.

There are many different options for harnesses, such as a body harness, chest harness, or face harness. I suggest body or chest harnesses for smaller to medium dog breeds and face harnesses for large breeds.

These different harness types are available in all dog sizes. A harness helps give an even amount of pressure along the device, and some harnesses can help with pulling issues.

10. Poop Bags

plastic dog poop bags

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During walks with your dog, it’s important that you pick up all feces with dog poop bags so that you can keep the environment clean.

Puppy and adult dog stool can sometimes carry intestinal parasites or disease, so it’s important to clean up the poop so that another person’s dog doesn’t get infected.

11. Chews

great dane chewing on bone

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Dogs have natural urges to chew throughout their entire lives. Chewing gives your dog a job to do, and it keeps him busy.

There are many different types of chews you can buy for your dog. Some people mistake toys as being chews, but they are two different items. Real chews include bones, bully sticks, and hooves.

Some dogs, however, suffer from GI upset when using these products. If your dog gets an upset stomach, look for alternative chews made from rubber, antler bone, yam, cheese, sweet potato, nylon, or corn starch.

You should also ask your vet which types of chews are appropriate for your puppy’s particular stage of development.

12. Toys

dog lying down with toys

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Dogs need activities to keep them entertained and their minds stimulated.

There are many different types of dog toys you can purchase for your puppy. Balls to play fetch, tug-of-war toys, plush toys with squeakers, and puzzle toys are all great items to keep your pup active.

13. Training Clicker

border collie looks at clicker

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Clicker training is a method of dog training that uses a click noise to tell your dog that they’re doing what you want them to do at the exact moment you make the noise.

You can associate a reward with the click noise your dog training clicker makes so your puppy starts to understand that the click is a good thing. Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement and can be used to teach your dog all types of commands.

I recommend scheduling your new dog for puppy obedience classes with a dog trainer to instruct you on how to properly train your dog.

14. Treats

golden retriever looks at heart shaped treat

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Treats are very important to have with your new dog to use in positive reinforcement dog training. I recommend purchasing a small soft chew dog training treats.

Always use small pieces of a treat in training so you don’t overfeed your puppy. Your dog will have specific flavors they enjoy more, and preference will vary depending on your puppy’s unique personality.

15. Car Safety Harness

two dogs with harnesses in back of car

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Last but not least, purchase a safety harness or car restraint for your dog while in the car. Car safety is very important for your canine companion in case you get into a car accident.

When your dog is a puppy, they have the tendency to move around the car. Sometimes when dogs are scared, they go underneath the car seats, which could be very dangerous while you’re driving.

Having a car safety harness will ensure that your dog is secure and in one place. There are booster seats available for smaller dogs and safety harnesses available for larger dog breeds.

These are the must-have items every dog owner should get when adopting a new puppy. Purchase these products before you bring your pup home so you’re prepared in advance. Having them will help keep your puppy happy and safe throughout their life.

Have you ever adopted a puppy? What other items do new puppy owners need? Let us know in the comments below!

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